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Cold and Flu Medications While Breastfeeding

As cold and flu season swings into full effect, runny noses, coughing, and body aches leave many breastfeeding mothers wondering whether some quick relief from over-the-counter medications could negatively impact their breastfeeding baby. Research shows that some cold and flu medications are better than others when it comes to breastfeeding. Dextromethorphan, acetaminophen, and doxylamine succinate are common active ingredients in cold and flu syrups such as NyQuil and DayQuil along with their generic ingredients.

Influenza Virus in Pregnancy

Influenza is a viral infection that affects the respiratory tract. It is especially risky in pregnant women and increases the risk of premature delivery, abortion, and stillbirth. Pregnant women are also at an increased risk of complications from the virus. These complications include pneumonia followed by ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome) requiring hospitalization and mechanical ventilation.
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